RLP 006-Powder Introduction


Welcome to the Reloading Podcast 006 Powder IntroductionToday I am going to just cover a couple brief items regarding gunpowder.

History:  black powder in the 10th century by the Chinese.  It consists of saltpetre (potassium nitrate), sulfur, and charcoal (carbon).  the first uses were as signals or in fireworks, but then those pesky Europeans figured out we could use it to propel other things…

Smokeless powder:   In 1884, Paul Vieille invented a smokeless powder called Poudre B (short for poudre blanche—white powder, as distinguished from black powder) made from 68.2% insoluble nitrocellulose, 29.8% soluble nitrocellusose gelatinized with ether and 2% paraffin.  Wikipedia was used for this info….

Smokeless powder continues to be redesigned today by many companies and has different mixture ratios and ingredients depending on who makes it, but they aren’t likely to share those mixtures, its usualy more secret than the Colonel’s secret recipe…

Smokeless powder usually comes in a few different forms, Ball, and variants of Extruded, which can be anywhere from flat flakes to long cylinders depending on type of use and desired burning rate.

Here are a couple examples…

  • the ball is Winchester 748
  • The extruded flake is Alliant Unique
  • The extruded cylindrical is IMR 4350

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